ADB, Microsoft, Lao PDR Collaborate to Expand Economic Opportunities for Youth | Asian Development Bank

ADB, Microsoft, Lao PDR Collaborate to Expand Economic Opportunities for Youth

News from Country Offices | 21 November 2016

VIENTIANE, LAO PDR (21 November 2016) – The Asian Development Bank (ADB), Microsoft, and the Ministry of Education and Sports (MOES) of Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Lao PDR) have signed a letter of intent to collaborate and develop a technology platform to provide Lao youth with access to online technical and vocational training resources and employment services. 

The document was signed by Kongsy Sengmany, Vice Minister of Education and Sports on behalf of the Government of Lao PDR, Rena Chai, Microsoft’s Marketing and Operation Lead, and Noriko Ogawa, Deputy Director General of ADB’s Southeast Asia Department.

“ADB recognizes that inclusive education is essential to build the human capital needed to drive innovation, increase productivity, and accelerate private sector development,” said Ms. Ogawa. “Integrating an innovative technology platform into our education sector assistance programs will help deliver longer-lasting benefits to the Lao economy.”

The platform — called YouthWorks — supports government efforts to use information and communication technology to boost access to education and employment services. It will provide an online localized knowledge repository and open-access courses, career guidance, and job placement services, free of charge. YouthWorks empowers job seekers and entrepreneurs to develop the skills and knowledge needed to find decent jobs. 

The collaboration is in association with the ADB-financed Second Strengthening Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Project. The platform complements project efforts to increase access to quality TVET programs and career guidance services. 

ADB, based in Manila, is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration. Established in 1966, ADB in December 2016 will mark 50 years of development partnership in the region. It is owned by 67 members—48 from the region. In 2015, ADB assistance totaled $27.2 billion, including cofinancing of $10.7 billion.